New law to protect retail workers welcomed in Stratford - The Stratford Observer

New law to protect retail workers welcomed in Stratford

Stratford Editorial 19th Apr, 2024   0

A NEW law to protect retail workers has been welcomed in Stratford – but there is still more to be done.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced that assaulting a shop worker will be made a separate criminal offence following a long-running campaign by major retailers.

And Jacob Hill, who works in Stratford town centre, said the law change was a step in the right direction as he and his fellow retailers have suffered appalling behaviour from customers.

He continued: “The behaviour my colleagues and I have faced is appalling. Ranging from customers shouting at us about self-service tills, a basket full of stock thrown at a colleague or having thousands of pounds of stock stolen regularly. These actions can make our jobs depressing and in some cases dangerous. While the news is a good first step, more does need to be done.”

The law change has also been welcomed by Labour parliamentary candidate for Stratford, Seyi Agboola, and Labour Police and Crime Commissioner candidate, Sarah Feeney, who helped boost the campaign locally with a petition.

Mr Agboola said: “I am delighted that the campaign Labour has been fighting has achieved this next vital step. Just a few weeks ago I was in Alcester with our team where residents were telling me how their local store was only allowing a few shoppers in at a time due to shoplifting and the threats to staff.”

Ms Feeney continued: “Violence has reached astronomical proportions as 1,300 attacks per day on shop workers are being reported. This is not acceptable and will soon be an offence. However, the fight isn’t over until every shop worker can go to work with freedom from fear. We have to examine the detail of government proposals and keep up the pressure until this law is on the statute books and authorities have the resources they need to implement it.”

Mr Agboola added: “I want to thank everyone who told me their experiences in their community and stood with shop workers on this vital campaign, by signing our petition. Every signature made a difference. We know you’ll be with us as our campaign continues to end violence against shop workers once and for all.”

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